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Volunteering

30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I joined the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge sponsored by Leslie Saeta even though I had projects coming up that might prevent me from finishing the challenge.  Why take on the challenge?  I thought it was worth the start and good practice.  Even if I don’t post, its worth the discipline to paint daily.

What I would like to talk about are the projects I will be doing instead.  Camping and painting, naturally.  Plus, I’m volunteering my time to the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) and the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS).

Dreamy Time Tea

Watercolor Society of Oregon

The Watercolor Society of Oregon has their fall convention early in October.  This year it is being held in nearby Medford, OR.  I am one of the volunteer workers.  I’m assisting the convention chair (Ms. Deanna St. Martin) with some of the sessions.   Currently, I’m preparing for the Juror’s Critique Sessions.  There are two sessions each with 20 images.  What is enlightening is seeing the good quality of art being submitted.

Which brings me to a lesson learned that is re-inforced in my brain.  In most any juried show, there are many fine paintings that are not accepted.  It is the nature of the beast due to the limits of juried shows.

Another lesson learned:  there is a LOT of work that must be done ahead of time to prepare for and put on an exhibition and convention.

My volunteer work with the Watercolor Society of Oregon is short term and will be done by conventions end early in October.

Northwest Watercolor Society

My work with the Northwest Watercolor Society is more long term.  I am one of the “Co-Chair” for the society’s Facebook Page.  These days, non-profit organizations, such as the NWWS, must learn and be active in Social Media.  By necessity, the society depends on volunteers.

I started volunteering with the NWWS in 2011.  I was their “Awards Chair”.  It was an interesting job.  My responsibility was securing award donations for their two annual exhibitions.  It was almost like a full time job.  It was also a job I wanted to do well as people were depending on me.

During my tenure as Awards Chair, I started posting on the society’s Facebook page.  I’ve been doing it off and on ever since.

Why Volunteer?

I have gained knowledge about art societies and participating in art exhibitions and conventions.  This is knowledge one does not gain merely by submitting an image.  Things like image preparation, paperwork, shipping and receiving artwork.

The art societies rely on volunteers to function.  Volunteering from time to time contributes to the success of organizations I am a member of, even if it is in a small way.

So, if I don’t post much until mid October, know that I’m busy working on the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s fall convention.  I probably won’t have time for new “Drawing Talent” work either.

Plus, if you have insight on growing a great non-profit organization Facebook page, PLEASE let me know!

Tea & Espresso

Now, I think it’s tea and coffee time!  About the two paintings shown, they are the latest two I completed for the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” .  Thanks!

Espresso & Tea Again

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Talent Library Entrance: Day 11 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Remembering My First Library Visit

Libraries.  Do you remember the first time you went to a library?  I do.  I don’t remember the book I checked out, but I do remember going.

Up until that  magical day, libraries were grown up places and I was too young.  

Talent Library Entrance, Watercolor by Margaret Stermer-Cox

We were living in Bayard, NM and the nearest library was ten miles away in Silver City, NM.  To drive to the library was a big deal.  My mother would go to the library and take my older siblings, but I was not old enough yet.

Then one day I wasn’t too young and got to go with my Mom.  I felt important.  I’m sure I read the book I checked out over and over again.  It was the start of a long relationship with libraries.

The Book Mobile

We used to have a book mobile come to our village too.  I remember happy visits and checking out books.  If a book was about horses or dogs, I was certain to be interested in it.

Speaking of book mobiles, I have a friend and fellow artist who used to be a book mobile driver/librarian.  What a special job!

Buying Books Through School

Though I’m dating myself, I will say that there wasn’t a book store in our village.  Periodically we could order paperback books through our school.  I’d pore over the catalog and take my time in choosing the book I was allowed to order.  It was special!

These were the days before computers and the internet changed our lives.  And yet, I think libraries are still important, perhaps more so than ever.

Local Libraries

Local libraries are our communities’ repository for the written word.  Thoughts, ideas, observations, musings and even gossip exists on the pages.  Stories, pictures, histories, its all there.  Rich and poor alike have access.  The library is a “living” monument to what we think is important.

It did strike me as appropriate to be drawing and painting the library on September 11th.  For me, the seeds of freedom can be sewn and nurtured in the library.

Our library in Talent is a branch of the local Jackson County Library System.  It serves us well.

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And Even More Moving In

Moving has caused chaos in my studio. I swear, I had my studio in great working order, but then I had to move in more and more supplies as I transferred everything from the old place to the new. There simply isn’t room for everything in my new studio—extra storage space seems to be the one thing lacking here. So, I’m having a big art and art supplies giveaway in a couple of days in order to make room so I can work again.

Bill, Jr. is currently roosting on my bedroom door. He is a bit flighty and changes his position frequently. Bill carries notes and reminders on the paper clip he carries from his beak.

Bill, Jr. is currently roosting on my bedroom door. He is a bit flighty and changes his position frequently. Bill carries notes and reminders on the paper clip he carries from his beak.

I can’t get to my drafting table due to the boxes of art and art supplies that I don’t have places for here. Although going through everything and getting rid of so much is difficult as well as emotionally draining, I know I will be ever so much happier in my streamlined studio.

Rusty  likes to be outside checking out everyone who enters the front door.

Rusty likes to be outside checking out everyone who enters the front door.

I’m looking forward to making art again. I haven’t been able to make much art for the past month, and I realize just how much I miss it. Decorating is being creative, but there’s nothing like actually making art with my very own hands.

Bill and Mary will likely go to a new home as they haven't found a spot that they like here.

Bill and Mary will likely go to a new home as they haven’t found a spot that they like here.

As you can see this and the previous posts of photos of my home, my style tends towards a clean and uncluttered look. My walls are off white with the emphasis being on the art. There’s not a lot of embellishments. It’s the same with my paper art. I like clean lines with a contemporary feel.

Whimsey, made from papier mache and fabric, likes being on the table in the entry where she enjoys visiting with guests.

Whimsey, made from papier mache and fabric, likes being on the table in the entry where she enjoys visiting with guests.

And while I love the clean and uncluttered look in my home, I have to work hard to keep it that way. My natural instinct is to clutter, but I know that I work better and feel ever so much better in a clean, simple, calm, uncluttered environment. Maybe that’s why this move is taking so much longer than I imagined it would. Another two weeks and I should be in and back to work.

Hugs to all, Candy

Talent Cafe: Day 10 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

New (Real) Talent Cafe

I thought I’d clarify, this is the NEW Talent Cafe!  (They call themselves the “Real” Talent Cafe).

Old (Original) Talent Cafe

On August 31st, I posted an article called “Drawing Talent: Joe Dunbar Designs & Talent Cafe” . You see, the building depicted in the watercolor study was the old, original Talent Cafe. It was the Talent Cafe of my husband’s youth.

Talent Cafe

But, that Talent Cafe went on into the memory books.

Now, Talent has a NEW Talent Cafe!  New building, new location, new owners, new everything but the name.

Lots of Customers

And, let me tell you, they have a lot of customers!  I’ll explain.

Empty Parking Lot

I walked down to the Talent Cafe’s location late this morning. The parking lot was somewhat empty. I was looking for a place to sit that might offer a view with nice light and dark contrast.

Seeing that the parking lot was almost empty, I thought it wouldn’t matter if I set up in a parking space.  But, I hesitated because I’m not particularly familiar with this cafe.  I decided to set up in the weeds just outside of the parking lot.

Last Place Taken – OOPs

Picture this, I’m busy sighting, drawing lines, splashing paint, focusing on my work, not paying attention to the parking lot.  Slowly, the parking lot fills up until the last slot is taken!  OOPS! The last slot was right in front of me and my view was blocked. This is a busy place!

Busy Place

You might not realize that this is a popular cafe; I certainly didn’t! It’s in a small “strip mall”. The backside of the building faces a major road, highway 99 or the Pacific highway.  This is the part I usually see. All the parking is around front so you don’t see how much business the cafe receives. And, its busy!

Good Espresso

Personally, I have only been to the cafe once.  I had a cup of espresso and it was good.  After seeing today’s busy parking lot, maybe I’ll have to try it again!

Update:  Thank you!

I received an enthusiastic email from the owner of the Talent Cafe and I feel honored.  She is an artist herself, working in acrylic paint.  Inside the cafe the walls are decorated with her own, original artwork.  Thank you Ms. Obrien, I feel honored!

 

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Tea Party: Day 8 & 9 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Two paintings with tea cups, that makes a tea party doesn’t it?

The Tea Cup’s Story

I collected my tea cup when I was living in Germany. Its made in there and its dishwasher safe, a bonus! Its kind of an odd choice of souvenir because I’m not a big tea drinker. But, I liked the cup and saucer. I’ve had it for about 20 years now; its family.

Espresso & Tea, Watercolor by Margaret Stermer-Cox

The Espresso Story

I like espresso…a lot! I like a roast that’s rich, strong and leaves a citrus-like after taste. I start my day with two shots of espresso, neat. This cup is one that we picked up at a Pier 1 import store. Its sturdy and does the trick.

The Hot Sauce Story

I’m sure you can figure out the particular brand of hot sauce. I remember my oldest sister coming home from grade school one day and telling us she won the hot sauce drinking contest with her class mates. Can you imagine? I was in awe.

I have used copious amounts of hot sauce on various food items over the years.  Though, in spite of what my husband says, I’ve not had it on ice cream.

Here’s a bit of trivia you might not know. Hot sauce will freeze and the bottle will shatter somewhere between minus 24 degrees and minus 50 degrees. This happened to me in Alaska, to my dismay.

Tomorrow, more tea?

Day 8 Hot Tea M StermerCox

 

 

 

 

 

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SOU Churchill Hall: Day Seven of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Yesterday (day 7) my husband Robert and I went to nearby Ashland, OR on an errand. We thought it would be fun for me to do a watercolor study of something at Southern Oregon University (SOU). I chose “Churchill Hall” which we used to call the administration building.

Churchill Hall, SOU

You see, some thirty years ago my Robert and I were attending SOU. Robert was a Political Science major. I was doing graduate studies in biology. At that time the school was known as Southern Oregon State College (SOSC). It has had various other names too, such as Southern Oregon Normal School; Southern Oregon College.

I looked online and found some “gee whiz” facts about Churchill Hall.

  • Built in 1926
  • Italianate Revival Architectural Style
  • Houses president, senior staff and class rooms for the nursing program
  • One of the past presidents of the University was Julius A. Churchill

And, here I thought it was named after Winston.

Mostly, I liked the nice lawn, trees and garden around Churchill Hall.

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Porto Gelato: Day 6 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Today’s painting is a good example of how I find subject matter  I had a story I wanted to tell, but didn’t know what building would help me tell that story.

Drawing Talent:  Porto Gelato

I walked downtown and was looking at sights and wasn’t quite satisfied.  Then, I saw my neighbor and proprietress of “Funky Fashions” in downtown Talent.  We had a chat.  As I started to walk away, I looked across the street at “Porto Gelato”.  Perfect!

Porto Gelato is a new business in our town.  It is family owned.  Italian ice cream, what could be better?

So, I sat down and enjoyed myself.  Later, my husband and I came back and sampled their gelato.  We will have to try it again!

 

 

 

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A Cubist State of Mind, Day 5 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them. ”
-Pablo Picasso

Day five of 30 paintings in 30 days.  I am  burnt siena, ultramarine blue and Cubist today.  What else?

Cubist "Lady in Blue"

 

I awoke feeling square.

I drew one.

Then I drew a circle, just to be different.

Add a line, a stitch in time and I had a face.

Am I a Cubist? Could be.

Feeling out of shape, I exercise.

I triangulate out the door.  Round I go then point back again.

Shipshape: I’m a rectangle and a point.

Lie down, touch the ground, I’m flat.

Draw this; draw that.

I’m in a geometric state of mind.

Square.  Circle.  Triangle.  Polygon.

Point. Line. Draw.

No time.  State of mind.

Square and circle; Cubist it is.

——–

Happy Friday and I hope you enjoy my non-poem and “Lady in Blue”.  This is my “Day Five” accomplishment for the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge that I’m participating in.  Its fun!

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News from Silvia Trujillo

First of all, the paintings shown are some of my most recent plein air works completed here in Southern Oregon.

I’m looking forward to continuing to paint outdoors for at least the next couple of months while the weather is warm. Also, I’ve just discovered some plein air tips for painting in colder temperatures that I’ll be anxious to try out this winter. I’ll let you know if they work.

Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

If you would like to join me I’m offering private and semi-private sessions for beginners and intermediate painters at the rate of $25 hr. (two or more students per session and that rate can be adjusted). If you’re an advanced painter and don’t need or want instruction I would enjoy your company out on location, so send me an email and we can make arrangements to paint together.

"And the Rocks Remain"Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“And the Rocks Remain” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

"Cliffhanger" Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“Cliffhanger” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

On another note, The Rogue Gallery Art Center in Medford is having their annual “Artrageous Benefit Auction” on Satuday, Sept. 27, 2014 at RoxyAnn Winery, where one of my vineyard paintings is the featured image on the label for a Special Reserve wine exclusively bottled for the event. In addition to that, several of my vineyard scenes are being displayed on the wall of the main entrance to the gallery for the month of Sept. Try and stop by to see them.

Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“Lavender Fields Forever” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“Lavender Fields Forever” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

I’m still offering private lessons (indoors) in a variety of media and subjects, so let me know if there’s something you’ve been wanting to paint. I may be able to offer you the instruction you need.

"Her Hills" Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“Her Hills” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

"Sacred Mustard" Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“Sacred Mustard” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

What a beautiful land we live in here in Southern Oregon! I’m so thankful to be back!

"Bucolic" Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

“Bucolic” Plein air oil painting by Silvia Trujillo, Ashland, Oregon 2014

Day Four of 30 Paintings in 30 Days: Railroad Depot

Why Not?

The day was beautiful, the light just right, so why not paint outside? Exactly! And, off I went to visit my hometown railroad depot for a session of watercolor painting. I have drawn it before as part of my “Drawing Talent” project, but had not painted the depot.

Railroad Depot Talent OR by Margaret Stermer-Cox

Railroad Connections

I was brainstorming about what attracts me to railroad depots; what’s my personal connection? Naturally, it all started when I was a child:

  • My grandfather Stermer was an engineer for the railroad. He worked out of Elmira NY. He used to talk about trains, the Erie & Lackawanna railroad, and wear a railroad cap.
  • My grandparents Stermer would come visit us via the train. It would be a treat to go in the car with my Dad to either pick them up or drop them off.
  • There was a railroad track that went through my childhood town of Bayard, NM. It used to be part of the Santa Fe Railroad. It was a freight train and went right by the grade school. We loved watching the trains go by and waving at the engineers.
  • I’ve traveled by train in the US and Europe; its great fun and an excellent way to travel.

Talent Gets A Railroad Depot

Depot Nearby

The train tracks that run through my current home town of Talent, Oregon, are close to my house. They go through the middle of town. The depot is only a couple of blocks away. I jog by it during my morning exercise. However, I did’t know that much about the depot itself, until I started this blog post.

Mr. Talent Gets the Mail

I found a file on line from our Talent Historical Society about the depot. First of all, there really was a Talent family that the town is named after. The Talents used to receive the mail at their house during the stagecoach days. Mr. Talent became Postmaster. Eventually, the railroad began delivering to the Talent’s house. This situation continued for over 15 years.

Depot Delivered to Talent

By the turn of the 20th Century, the town was big enough that the citizens figured they ought to have a depot. They lobbied the Southern Pacific Railroad for a depot and received one. A depot was delivered to Talent, by train of course! The depot came from nearby Medford, Oregon. Coincidentally, Medford was getting a new depot so Talent received the old.

Depot a Replica

Today’s depot is a replica of the depot Talent once had. Its not used as a depot because passenger and freight traffic no longer runs on the rail. The rail is maintained, however. Who knows, maybe one day rail service will resume.

I found it amusing to imagine the train depot being moved down the tracks. If you click on this link, you can see a photo of Talent’s depot being transported down the track: http://www.talenthistory.org/forms/2010_2.pdf.

Talent Stats

Oh! Yes, there is a sign on the railroad depot with some stats. Talent’s elevation is 1635 feet. We are 336 miles from Portland, OR and 436 from San Francisco, CA.

Tomorrow:  Day Five of 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

 

 

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